Are Wiretapping Laws Helping Criminals?

The recent debates over wiretapping are not new, as this film “Are Wiretapping Laws Helping Criminals?” demonstrates. Broadcast as an episode of All America Wants to Know, this segment features a debate about an issue that is as relevant to the ACLU today as it was during this 1962 broadcast.

All America Wants to Know was a monthly debate show which focused on current events and legal issues. Presented by The Reader’s Digest and the Freedoms Foundation, this program was created and moderated by Theodore Granik, best known for creating several other radio and television panel discussion programs including “Youth Wants to Know,” “Women Want to Know,” and perhaps most famously, “American Forum of the Air.”

The inspiration for this episode was the March 1962 Reader’s Digest article by Senator Kenneth Keating (R-NY), called “Change the Law that Fosters Crime.” Keating, a long time advocate of expanding federal surveillance powers, was known for having introduced a 1954 bill that sought to allow the FBI and military intelligence services to intercept telephone conversations in national-security cases, as well as Senate bill S. 3340 (86th Congress, 1960), which aimed to make it easier for state law enforcement to place taps.

In addition to Senator Keating, this episode’s panel featured Senator John A. Carroll (D-CO), Virgil W. Peterson, the Operating Director of the Chicago Crime Commission; Frank O’Connor, Queens County District Attorney; and Lawrence Speiser, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington, D.C. office.

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Bronze Memorial Stars

Dear Mr. Mudd:

What is the origin of the stars on Princeton University buildings? Is there any database listing the location of each star?

The bronze stars on window sills of Princeton University dormitories commemorate the University’s students and alumni who died in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and in the Vietnam War. An additional 13 bronze stars honoring those who died on September 11, 2001 are located in a memorial garden between East Pyne and Chancellor Green.

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Letter from the Society of the Claw to members seeking funding for the initial stars.

The original 140 stars, honoring students who lost their lives in World War I, were placed in 1920. These stars were donated by members of the Society of the Claw, an organization of members of the Class of 1894 who, as a sign-on condition, promised to either attend the next five reunions or every reunion throughout their lives. The Society also inducted honorary members who had done an “unusual service” or “brought exceptional honor” to Princeton, such as Woodrow Wilson ’1879. The Society of the Claw raised $431.65 for these stars, which were then placed on the window sill of each dorm room last occupied by a Princeton student who lost his life in the war.

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Traveling Hopefully, 1982

Robert Louis Stephenson once wrote that to travel hopefully is better than to arrive. And the true reward is to labor. I have travelled hopefully for all these years. So has the ACLU. Some day, some time, but the goal is clear, the road is hard, and progress painful. We are approaching — we are beginning to approach —  a tolerable world of peace, order, and justice.

-Roger Baldwin, 95th Birthday Celebration, 1979

Reel Mudd’s showcase of the audiovisual materials from the Records of the American Civil Liberties Union continues with Travelling Hopefully. This 28 minute documentary tells the life story of Roger Baldwin, the ACLU director from 1920 to 1950. The film intersperses interviews of Baldwin by Gail Sheehy and Norman Lear with praise for Baldwin’s actions by Ira Glasser, Andrew Young, Norman Dorsen, Ted Kennedy and others. Much of the praise for Baldwin comes from a 1979 dinner honoring Baldwin’s 95th birthday.

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Operation Abolition and Operation Correction

This week Reel Mudd brings you a double feature with Operation Abolition and Operation Correction! Perhaps the term double feature is inaccurate — each film contains the same footage but tells a different story. Operation Abolition describes how Communist infiltrators led riots while the House Un-American Activities Committee convened in San Francisco. Operation Correction, however, talks of misrepresentation by a government agency desperate to remain relevant while its raison d’être faced public scrutiny.

Operation Abolition, a 1960 documentary produced by the House Committee on Un-American Activities (a.k.a House Un-American Activities Committee or HUAC), focused on an incident on May 13, 1960 when the Committee convened in San Francisco’s City Hall. While the committee met, students protested in the hallways and outside the building, leading to clashes with the police and the arrest of 64 students. Operation Abolition shows footage of the incident taken from subpoenaed San Francisco TV station newsreels, using that footage to allege that the students were Communists and/or instigated by Communist agents. The film’s narrators, Representative Francis E. Walter, Chairman of HUAC, and Fulton Lewis III, son of a prominent anti-communist radio commentator, suggest that the protesters were members of and/or “duped” by groups whose ultimate goal was to destroy the committee, weaken the FBI, and reduce the enforcement powers of the Federal government. Despite being a newsreel produced by a government agency, Operation Abolition was surprisingly popular. According to Time Magazine, an estimated 15 million people saw this film.

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The Challenge

This Reel Mudd highlights a 1955 television pilot known as The Challenge. Intended to be the start of a weekly series highlighting controversial social issues, this episode was co-produced by the Fund for the Republic and noted TV producer Worthington Miner. This pilot shows the story of a school bus driver who is fired from his job and brought before the school board to justify his refusal to sign a loyalty oath.

The program’s co-producer, the Fund for the Republic, was an organization spun-off from the Ford Foundation. The Fund issued grants, commissioned studies, and created original works seeking to explore social issues such as racial discrimination, blacklisting, academic freedom, and the legality and effectiveness of loyalty oaths. As part of these activities, the Fund created a variety of documentaries and shorts for radio and television aimed at helping educate the American public about these issues.

The Challenge’s exploration of loyalty oaths mirrors the arguments raised in Fund for the Republic studies of the issue. It questions whether loyalty oaths were effective in their efforts to prevent Communists from subverting American institutions, whether they were constitutional, and if they led to additional rights or ethics violations.

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Open House Celebrates Kennedy’s Legacy as President and Temporary Tiger

Behind the scenes tours of Mudd Manuscript Library offered

On Saturday, October 23, Princeton University’s Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library will host a special Open House from 9 a.m. until noon. This event will feature the library’s current exhibit, John F. Kennedy: From Old Nassau to the New Frontier, which highlights objects, photographs, and documents created during Kennedy’s time as a Princeton student and throughout his political career.
John F. Kennedy: From Old Nassau to the New Frontier is the first exhibit to feature objects from both major collections of the Mudd Library, the Princeton University Archives and the 20th century Public Policy Papers. Highlights include his handwritten application to Princeton, a Jackie Onassis letter to Adlai Stevenson, and documents from the Warren Commission.
JFKBrochure

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Everything you wanted to know about the Mudd Manuscript Library but were afraid to ask!

Who was Seeley G. Mudd?
Seeley G. Mudd was a Harvard educated cardiologist and later dean and professor at the University of Southern California. During his lifetime, he contributed more than $10 million to various colleges and universities, and posthumously established a $44 million fund for the development of buildings for higher education, known as the Seeley G. Mudd Fund.
When was the Mudd Manuscript Library built?
Construction on the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library was completed in 1976.
But I’ve been to another Seeley G. Mudd library…
As the Mudd Fund gave grants to many other colleges and universities, there are other facilities with similar names, including some libraries, such as those at Yale University, Duke University, Lawrence University (Appleton, WI), and Pomona College (Clairmont, CA).
What kind of collections does the Mudd Library hold?
The Mudd Manuscript Library has two primary collections, the University Archives and the Public Policy Papers. For more information, see: http://www.princeton.edu/mudd/news/faq/sources/whatkind.shtml

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From the Archives: Summer at Princeton

With most students away and the heat beating down on McCosh Walk, summer at Princeton has an undeniably different character than that of the academic year.
Unlike Ivy League counterparts such as Columbia and Harvard, Princeton does not hold summer classes. Instead, the campus is populated by a variety of summer camps, conferences, and other special programs. The small cadre of students who remain on campus are often at work on dissertations and theses or employed in summer jobs on behalf of various university departments. Meanwhile, faculty who remain may be preparing material for publication or undertaking research.
But this was not always the case. From 1923 to at least the 1940s, Princeton hosted its own summer courses, and students have returned to campus in droves during times of national emergency as well, such as during World War I, when Princeton hosted military training camps, or World War II, when the summer session was greatly expanded so students could complete more courses before going off to serve in the war.

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World War I Summer Training Camp — Review (1917). Historical Photograph Collection: Campus Life Series, Box MP207

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From the Archives: Princeton and the Supreme Court

Journalists and pundits are noting that Elena Kagan’s

confirmation to the Supreme Court last week marks the first time three women have served concurrently on

the high court. However, Kagan’s confirmation marks another historic

occasion — the first time in 168 years that three Princetonians have shared

the bench.

While 2010’s trio consists of Samuel Alito ‘ 72, Sonia

Sotomayor ’76, and Elena Kagan ’81, the 1842 trio consisted of Smith Thompson

‘1788, Peter V. Daniel ‘1805, and James Moore Wayne ‘1808.

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Justices Thompson

‘1788 (Undergraduate Alumni Records), Daniel ‘1805 (Dickinson University’s House Divided Project), and Wayne ‘1808 (Library of Congress).

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Our Blog Redesign: Old stuff in a new bottle

Readers of this blog are used to reading timely, informative, and entertaining news about the collections, staff, and events at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library.

But, as of today, this blog will change. Don’t worry — we will still bring you the latest news coupled with tidbits regarding Princeton University history, but as you can already tell, the look and feel is different.

Thanks to a new version of Movable Type, the blogging software that Princeton’s Office of Information Technology supports, you can see our redesigned banner, a search box, and a listing of the most recent comments across all of our postings.

We’re excited about the changes because the new software allows us to create reader polls and gather more statistics about which entries are read, data we can use to tailor our content to better serve you, our readers. On our end, formatting has also been made easier, so we hope our entries will appear sharper to the eye.

Please send us your comments about the blog through the comment link below or feel free to contact us at mudd@princeton.edu.

Old Design

Mudd’s Old Blog Design

New Design

Mudd’s New Blog Design